For example, Fastbuds catalog shows you seeds ranging from XXL to L yield category, and you can choose anything depending on the space available. It’s recommended that you start autoflowers in their final containers because they don’t have a lot of spare time to recover when they are transplanted. Transplant shock can seriously stunt the plant and the loss of even a day or two in the vegetative period can affect yields greatly.
Sure, some growers grow autos just like photoperiod plants by transplanting them not once by twice! However, they are experienced growers that have attained success after several failures. If you’re adamant on transplanting, though, make sure that the medium is exactly the same. For instance, if your seedling is growing in a potting mix of coco coir and compost, it should be transplanted to another container containing the exact same mix. Water the seedling container a few hours before transplanting to ensure that the soil is moist. There’s a high risk of hurting the roots when the soil is too dry or wet.
It’s also critical to transplant only after the roots have filled out in the container since the soil will drop off in clumps with the roots stuck to them. In other words, wait until the plant is a little root bound. Since there are so many conditions, it’s best to start directly in the final containers. With no disturbance, you’re all set to get great yields. Containers must be proportional to the size of the plant. For example, medium-sized plants require at least 5–7 gallon containers whereas big plants need pots that are more than 11 gallons. Remember, the type of container you choose plays a major role as well. Autoflowers love aerated soil that drains very well, so use breathable containers like fabric pots that allow maximum drainage. It’s common for beginners to load their plants with too many nutrients and burn them. We get that you love your plants, but you’re only harming your autoflowers by feeding extra nutes. Photoperiod plants have bigger roots, but autoflowers are comparatively smaller and the nutrients have to be adjusted accordingly. For instance, if your nutrient chart recommends 5ml/liter, start with 2.5ml or 1.25 ml (1/2 or 1/4 strength) and watch how the plant responds. Some autoflowers, like the Tangie ‘Matic or Gorilla Glue, for example, are voracious feeders and require a stronger dose, but make sure you start with big doses only after experimenting with half-strength nutes at first. It goes without saying that seedlings don’t require nutrients. If you’re going soilless, a mild nutrient solution is fine, but don’t go above 150–200 ppm to avoid burning them. The pH is an important factor in determining the yields of autoflowering cannabis strains. Whether you grow hydroponically or use soil as a medium, pH is critical. Although many growers assume that the plant is suffering from nutrient deficiencies, most issues crop up only due to pH imbalance. For autoflowers growing in soil, pH levels ranging from 6.0 to 7.0 is adequate while hydroponic systems do well from 5.5 to 6.5. It’s not necessary to get an exact number, so an average of levels starting from 5.5 to 6.5 is good for autoflowers. Well, when the pH falls below 5.5, plants cannot absorb certain nutrients like Calcium and Magnesium even if they are present at the roots.
Suffice it to say that all the nutrients in the world cannot help the plant recover if the pH is not right. With an imbalance in the pH, the nutrients cannot be absorbed and the plants produce very little yields. Therefore, check the pH constantly to ensure that the plants are healthy. Autoflowers grow even when they get only 12 hours of light from seed to harvest. They are tough and adapt in any situation; however, they thrive when they receive 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness. Some growers provide 24 hours of light from the beginning until harvest, but it’s not recommended because plants need some rest and time to recover like the rest of us. Growers produce good yields with 24 hours, but the quality isn’t as good as plants grown in an 18/6 cycle. Although autos grow well under different types of lighting, they prefer HPS or LEDs over CFL and fluorescent lights. In particular, full-spectrum LEDs work the best for any type of autoflower. The higher the lumens, the better the yields, but if you cannot afford expensive lighting equipment, CFLs will work well during the vegetative phase.
Autoflowers growing outdoors usually receive only 12 hours of proper sunlight, and you’re probably wondering if that’s enough. However sunlight is the most powerful light compared to artificial systems set up by humans, so autos take advantage of the situation and produce maximum yields outdoors. Due to a shortage of time, not every training technique working for other cannabis plants suit autoflowers. For instance, HST or High-Stress-Techniques work very well on photoperiod plants, but autoflowers prefer Low-Stress-Techniques or LST.